Jennifer Hernández is majoring in Economics with a certificate in Spanish at Williams College. After graduation, she plans on attending graduate school for economics and starting a career focused on addressing health concerns and poverty in Latin America and the United States.
Hernández was born in El Salvador and grew up in Alexandria, Virginia. In both places, she realized how access to quality health care is aligned with higher wealth levels, often causing lower-income and minority communities to suffer more from preventative diseases and poor nutrition. This observation was underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic, which exposed how vulnerable health systems can create higher levels of health and income insecurity.
During SUMR, Hernández worked on two research projects. With Benjamin Chartock, she worked on uncovering the link between doctor rating scores and patient visits. With Iliana Kohler, PhD, she contributed to the Malawi Longitudinal Study for Families and Health (MLSFH) which focused on cognitive, economic, and social determinants of health in Malawi and other low-income contexts.
At Williams, Hernández is Co-Treasurer of Vista, the Latinx student organization which hosts different events focused on Latinx identity and community. She is a board member of the Coalition for Immigrant Student Advancement (CISA), where she plans club events and advocates for the rights of immigrants in Massachusetts and the United States more broadly. She also served as a political coordinator for the Minority Coalition, which is a branch of student government focused on advocating for the needs of minority populations and their respective student organizations. She is excited to learn more about the intersection of economics and health as well as the role of research in advancing minority communities.